Performance and the City

Out of the Black Box: Scripted Spaces, Immersive Theatre and Event Productions 1/2

Series: Symposium
Date: Monday 10 February 2014
Time: 10:00
Venue: Lecture Hall and 33 First Floor Back
Running time: 187 mins

Image: Money by Shunt. Photograph by Chris Sims.

Organised and hosted by Stefan Jovanovic and Takako Hasegawa

The symposium invites leading figures in creative fields in art, performance and theatre whose professional practice pushes various limits outside of the convention of the white cube and black box. The day will explore the creative endeavours in relation to the experience offered to the audience both in constructed spaces as well as in the urban context, addressing the role of scripted spaces in immersive theatre/environment.

Schedule for the day:

10:00 Introduction

10:10 Panel 1 presentations

Ant Hampton Autoteatro, Unrehearsed Performance and Shouting in Public Space

Mariana Pestana Performing the Building: Architecture in Between

Fabien Riggall Tell No One

Followed by a roundtable discussion chaired by Eva Franch I Gilabert + Carlos Villanueva Brandt (Dip 10)

13:10 Lunch break

14:00 Panel 2 presentations

David Rosenberg Unspeakable Futures

Jessica Grindstaff Research, Expedition and Performance

Felix Barrett & Maxine Doyle Punchdrunk – Let the Space Move You

Followed by a roundtable discussion chaired by Eva Franch I Gilabert + Inigo Minns (Inter 12)


17:00 Keynote lecture

Eva Franch I Gilabert Towards a Theory of Earliness: Trojan Horses, Mc Guffins and other Curatorial Objects

18:30 Lounge Conversation The Return of the Aviary (33FFB)


Ant Hampton: founded Rotozaza – a performance often involving the use of instructions given to unrehearsed ‘guest’ performers. Since 2007 his practice has evolved into the 'Autoteatro' series, where the audience performs or embodies the work themselves (eg his recent collaboration with Tim Etchells, The Quiet Volume).

Mariana Pestana: is a Portuguese born, London based architecture designer and curator. She is a founding member of the art and architecture collective ‘The Decorators’, and recently curated the exhibition “ The Real and Other Fictions” for Close, Closer, 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and an associate lecturer at Chelsea College of Arts and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

Fabien Riggall: conceived Secret Cinema in 2005. This immersive film production aims to bring the concepts of ‘experience’ back into the cinema-gong world. Specialising in bringing events to life through a unique fusion of film, improvised performances, detailed design and interactive multimedia.

David Rosenberg: as a theatre practitioner, he co- founded Shunt to pursue an interest in the role of an audience in theatrical productions. He has directed all the company shows including The Architects (based on the Greek minotaur myth), and recently he has been working with writer Glen Neath, making sound performances in the dark, the first of which: Ring. In his shows, audience members find themselves referred to increasingly more, until they become the subjects of the piece itself.

Jessica Grindstaff: the Artistic Director & Founder of Phantom Limb Company, together with Erik Sanko. She is a NYC-based artist, director and set designer who has been known as a creator of haunting, meticulously constructed music box dioramas and paintings in wax and chalkboard, as well as a jewellery line and on-going performance piece of prize ribbons and medals.

Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle: the Artistic Director/Founder and Associate Director/ Choreographer of Punchdrunk, the company which has pioneered a game changing form of theatre in which roaming audiences experience epic storytelling inside sensory theatrical worlds. They blend classic texts, physical performance, award winning design installation and unexpected sites.

Eva Franch I Gilabert: is an Architect, researcher, curator, teacher, and founder of OOAA (office of architectural affairs). She is currently the director and chief curator of the Storefront for Art & Architecture in New York. Together with the OfficeUS, presented by Storefront, Franch has been selected by the State Department, jointly with a curatorial and design team, to represent the US at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.

All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.